Mirror Diamond NecklaceA necklace bearing five Mughal empire pendant diamonds with emerald drops has recently been offered up at a private sale for a price tag of $20 million. The necklace, called the “Mirror Diamond,” is a prime example of the highly sought after colorless rough diamonds discovered in India during the height of the Mughal Empire. These diamonds were excavated during the 16th and 17th centuries and were usually reserved solely for royalty.

The center stone, weighing in at 28 karats, is the largest mirror stone known to be in existence, and the five accompanying diamonds are the largest known matching set of table-cut diamonds from 17th century Mughal. Although the origins are unknown, it is believed that the gems were owned by an ancient Mughal emperor. The sale of this necklace is causing much excitement in the worlds of both jewelry scholars and potential buyers alike.

The entire necklace weighs in at an approximate 96 karats, and table-cut diamonds are valued for their clarity and size. For those unfamiliar with the term “table-cut,” it refers to a thin, diamond section with a flat top and bottom, which also contains faceting along the edge. The faceting acts as a border, while simultaneously producing a refractive brilliance. Pendants, like the necklace, played an important part in the culture of Mughal royalty and were often used as turban ornaments and armbands.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) claims that the five nearly colorless diamonds were cut from the same crystal, and the teardrop emeralds were added at a later date. After the collapse of the Mughal empire, most of the jewels were damaged or lost. The “Mirror Diamond” necklace is one of the few known survivors of the end of the Mughal reign.

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